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QIMR Berghofer receives $11M in new NHMRC funding

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has secured almost $11 million in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding announced today, for 14 new projects to continue its world-leading research.

The newly announced grants take QIMR Berghofer’s overall research funding from the NHMRC to $16.5 million for 2018, the most successful Queensland institute after The University of Queensland.

QIMR Berghofer’s Director and CEO, Professor Frank Gannon, welcomed the funding and said it would help facilitate more ground-breaking research.

“This funding allows our dedicated scientists to continue their high-quality, patient-focused research that aims to save lives,” Professor Gannon said.

“Dr Siok Tey has received $870,000 to develop a novel cell therapy and take it to a phase I clinical trial to treat chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is a very debilitating and potentially fatal complication of bone marrow transplantation for blood cancer.”

“More than $1.3 million awarded to Dr Katja Fischer will allow her to find new drugs that will reduce the human scabies burden – one of the most common infectious skin disorders in the world, and a particular problem in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in northern Australia.”

Other funded projects include studies looking at the influence of mothers’ diets on the development of respiratory diseases in babies, new strategies for treating colorectal cancer, and investigating the genetic risks of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

“Six of our scientists have also secured fellowships which will allow them to continue working in varied research fields, including cancer prevention and control; cancer immunotherapy; discovering new immune targets for infectious diseases; the genetic drivers of glaucoma; and the genetic causes of lung disease,” Professor Gannon said.

“The certainty this funding provides is also important in ensuring Queensland can retain some of the best scientific minds in the country.”

QIMR Berghofer scientists have been working at the forefront of Australia’s efforts to prevent, detect and treat disease for more than 70 years.